A pair of nurse educators from a National Cancer Institute-affiliated comprehensive cancer center developed chemotherapy/immunotherapy administration and symptom management education for correctional facility nurses. They presented the results of their work at the 48th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress.

Correctional facilities often must administer infusion treatments without the benefit of formal training. The team began their work by visiting a correctional facility and completing a learning needs assessment. The assessment determined which nurses needed training and the type of training that was needed.

Then they implemented 2 types of training:

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  • A 2-day chemotherapy/immunotherapy course held at the cancer center, which was completed by 7nurses.
  • A half-day (4 hours) oncology symptom management course, which was completed by 6 nurses.

To complete the 2-day course, the nurses were required to pass a posttest, which all of them did. Additionally, nurses who would be administering infusion treatments would be required to complete infusion competency assessments after the course.

The research team noted that this program provided the education necessary to boost the numbers of nurses who are qualified to administer chemotherapy drugs in this particular correctional facility — and help them manage the symptoms their patients may experience. The program also strengthened the partnership between their cancer center and the correctional facility.

It also provided an example of the type of initiative that NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers could embrace as one way to serve as resources to their communities and contribute to community cancer programs.


Williams A, Dove J. Cancer treatment education for correctional facility nurses: a community partnership. Oral presentation at: 48th Annual ONS Congress; April 26-30, 2023; San Antonio, TX.